Tomorrow we'll announce the winners of our competition for two lucky readers to win a trip to TechEd North America in New Orleans, courtesy of the Windows Server 2012 team at Microsoft. We already know two people who are attending: Lifehacker Australia editor Angus Kidman and David Klemke, our prize-winning blogger from TechEd Australia last year. While we wait for the winners announcement, David and Angus share what they're looking forward to from the trip.
New Orleans picture from Shutterstock (Gary Yim)
What are you most looking forward to learning at TechEd North America?
DAVID: I'm really looking forward to seeing how Microsoft will deepen its integration with cloud services, specifically with the Azure platform. They've made some good inroads with System Center 2012 suite of products (most notably with Virtual Machine Manager and App Controller), but the differing feature sets between the infrastructure and cloud services is still a sticking point for many. I'm also keen to dive deeper into PowerShell V3.0 after the awesome introduction I had to it at TechEd Australia.
ANGUS: With my newshound hat on, I'm hoping we'll learn more in-depth detail on what is happening with Windows Blue. More generally, I'm hoping we'll get more insight into how Windows Server 2012 is being used some nine months after its official launch. As any parent can tell you, a lot can happen in nine months . . .
What aspect of Windows Server 2012 currently excites you the most?
DAVID:As someone who's often working on dozens if not hundreds of servers, at a time the advanced automation tools are by far the most exciting feature for me in Windows Server 2012. Whilst I'll hold off on professing my love for PowerShell V3.0 (and its incredible Web Access) again, the improvements to Server Manager and the Remote Server Administration Tools definitely have me chomping at the bit to deploy Windows Server 2012 in production.
ANGUS: The performance improvements and price-is-right strategy for Hyper-V have made it a really serious competitor in the virtualisation space. Seeing how that impacts on the strategy of both Microsoft's rivals and how customers adopt Windows Server 2012 is certainly something I'll be checking out.
What tip on conference survival would you offer to fellow attendees?
DAVID: Planning, planning, planning. Whilst there's heaps of amazing stuff to keep you interested all day long you're going to be much better off if you schedule your day, even if you don't end up sticking to it. If you know in advance that a particular session is going to be popular make sure you get in early as seats rapidly become a premium, even more so for the ones with power outlets (and heaven help you if you get in between me and one of them!).
ANGUS: +1 to what David said, and the planning needs to start when you board the plane to the US and organise your sleep patterns. If you don't sleep on the plane, you'll be a complete wreck by lunchtime on the first day of the event. I know I bang on about this a lot, but it really makes a difference.
Are you a New Orleans 'virgin', and what are you most looking forward to about this visit to the city?
DAVID: I've visited the States in the past but this will be my first time in New Orleans. Luckily many of my close mates have been there before and I have it on good authority that the Stooges Brass Band is something I shouldn't miss. I'm also something of an amateur photographer and there are many, many spots that I'm sure I'll lose hours in.
ANGUS: I have attended a couple of conferences in New Orleans, but that was before the devastation wrought by Hurricane Katrina in 2005. It will be interesting to see how things have altered -- I know that the devastation was much worse outside the central area but I still anticipate changes. My inner plane geek is also excited as this is, somewhat surprisingly, the first time I've flown the Qantas route to Dallas Fort Worth.